Saturday, January 31, 2009

saving energy/saving money

I wanted to share a thought with any of you that might be considering Solar. This came from a 2 day solar class I recently took from the Solar Living Institute. Don't bother with Solar until you've done everything else to your house to make it more efficient. If you don't you will need a lot larger solar system. Solar is very expensive so you want as small of a system as you can have. Plus if your house is small like ours there is limited roof space that has the right sun exposure and no shade. Shade is another huge consideration. If a pannel is shaded 20% it will not create any power.

Our PG&E bill was horribly high last month. It was a cold month and I was home from work for two weeks but still it was quite a shock to me. We live in a small house that was built in 1962 and has very little insulation. We (Johnnie's nickname) installed more insulation in the attic this past week - only cost about $350 but will save us a ton over the years. We also took our second refrigerator to the dump and got rid of the old electric space heater he used to heat up the room in the garage. We plan on looking for a more efficient refrigerator in the next few weeks. Our current one ueses up 1000 Kwth per year - not sure what that means dollar wise but I'm sure we can do a lot better. We are considering getting rid of the dryer and just using the clothes line but I like the option of using the dryer but will we use the line????

Speaking of clothes line - last year or was it the year before when I went to home depot to buy it I asked where they kept them and the girl working there had never heard of a clothes line. I couldn't believe it - how spoiled have we become? I ended up buying a retractable one off ebay but to be honest have used it very little. I pledge to use it more this year.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pet Magnet

I planned on showing some before pictures of our property but realized this morning the memory card they were on was the one I lost a few months ago :( So instead I've decided to tell you about our farm animals. We have 3 dogs and a cat. Dutchess, the black lab is 13 years old. She is getting near the end of her days but keeps bouncing back. Ginger is our 4 year old yellow lab. She is a bit psychotic - she is afraid of everything including walking on the kitchen floor. Lillee is the 1 year old pug - she is also known as thorn (in my side) and PITA (pain in the a...). The cat's name is Spike but I call him Mister Big because he runs the house hold. He isn't afraid of any of the dogs. He is about 13 or 14 years old. Any time I sit down the pets are all over me and so the name of the blog pet magnet

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Trying out the blogging thing

I went to the ECO farming conference last week and was very inspired and thought I would start my own blog just for kicks. I will focus mainly on the "mini farm" we have created out our home. We have 10 fruit trees, 2 nut trees, a green house, tons of veggie beds and even some chickens. I also love to do crafts so I might write about that occasionally as well.